About this collection
Birds of America consists of 435 plates, bound in four volumes. Each plate was hand colored in London under the direction of Audubon and engraver Robert Havell, Jr. The book is referred to as a double elephant folio due to its size. At 21.5 x 39.5 inches and 40 pounds it is one of the largest and heaviest books in our collection. Our copy was purchased in 1870 from Joseph Longworth (son of Cincinnati millionaire Nicholas Longworth). It was originally owned by Dr. Thomas Edmonson of Baltimore, Maryland. Volumes 1-4 are on permanent display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library.
Source: Audubon’s Birds of America from Original Drawings
The life’s work of both a lover and observer of birds and nature.
John James Audubon’s Birds of America is a portal into
the natural world. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains
435 life-sized watercolours of North American birds, all made from
hand-engraved plates, and is considered to be the archetype of wildlife
illustration. Nearly 200 years later, the Audubon prints are coming to
life once again, thanks to our vibrant digital library. Roam around
below and enjoy one of the most treasured pieces of Audubon’s grand and
wild legacy. Each print is also available as a free high-resolution
John James Audubon’s Birds of America | Audubon.